Ratnesh Lal has been named fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Lal is an authority on biomedical applications of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and nanoscale imaging of complex biological systems. Research in his lab involves the development of nanotechnologies for, and multi-scale biophysical and system biology studies of, channels and receptors. His research on amyloid ion channel paradigm provides a new perspective on the mechanism underlying protein misfolding diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, ALS, diabetes and many systemic diseases. His research on the structure-function of hemichannels that connect cells to their surroundings and to each other provides a new mechanism for cell growth as well as mechanics and new pathways underlying toxicity of oxidative stress and other environmental agents, including smoking. His lab also designs nanosensors and devices for biomedical diagnostics and therapeutics.
Lal is on advisory board of several entrepreneurial companies, including RC Nano LLC and Be Green Packaging LLC. He also is an associate editor of the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine and serves on the NIH Nano study section. He holds several patents based upon AFM cantilever arrays, microfluidics, optoelectronics and nanotubes for medical diagnostics and medical nanodevices, nanoscale fluid behavior and new TIRF, FRET and related optical microscopy.